In a nutshell
To make things happening, you need a proper marketing budget. Your marketing budget should cover all your paid media, all resources you are buying externally (research, consulting, goodies, ...) and your subscription to technological platforms. Some benchmarks are also counting your marketing employees in this budget. Do you have enough budget for achieving your ambition
In the Marketing Canvas
In the Marketing Canvas, we have identified 6 main categories for building your Marketing Strategy: Customers, Brand, Value Proposition, Journey, Conversation and Metrics. Each of these categories, have 4 dimensions which means that a total of 24 dimensions (6 by 4) are defining your Marketing Strategy.
Budget is one of the 4 dimensions of the Metrics category.
How to use it?
Corporate companies are tracking all their expenses very precisely and marketing is not an exception to this rule. Smaller companies like startups or SME are maybe less formal about this and some are not even budgeting their marketing expenses. 2 major benchmarks exist: Gartner  and CMOsurvey . These benchmarks are tracking Marketing Budget across industries and size of companies.
From these benchmark, we can already discover that, on average, companies are allocating around 11% of their yearly budget to Marketing expenses.
Another way to benchmark your Marketing Budget is to calculate the ratio between your Marketing Budget and your Revenue. Marketing Budget represents between 6% and 10% of your revenue but it varies also in function of the magnitude of your revenue.
For startups, we can go up to 20% of your expected gross revenue as Marketing Budget.
Having said that, what matters really is to put some science in your budget and try to link all your expenses with your actions. I am planning to do X for achieving Y using the budget Z.
Not spending your budget is also a big mistake in terms of management as it shows that you don’t execute what you have planned. It gives a very bad perception to your leadership.
If your marketing budget is below market average, it means that you are under-investing compared to your competitors. It is certainly a Brake.
Is your Marketing Budget helping you achieve your goals?
Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-2019, Gartner, https://www.gartner.com/marketing/research/the-2018-2019-cmo-spend-survey-spotlight.html
CMO Survey 2018, Deloitte, pdf, https://cmosurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/08/The_CMO_Survey-Highlights_and_Insights_Report-Aug-2018.pdf